Today is Losar, or Tibetan New Year and also Shambhala Day, celebrated worldwide by followers of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Tibetan Buddhist master. Its a day to reflect on the past year (the year of the Fire Pig) and contemplate the new year that is now upon us, the year of the Rat, also referred to as the Earth Mouse. Traditional Tibetan and Chinese new year begins in February and also this week there are Losar (Tibetan New Year) celebrations at Samye Ling in Scotland. For Tibetans, Losar is not only a celebration of the new year, but a time to dispel the negativities and obstacles of the old year and create positive energy for the new year.
At Samye Ling and other Buddhist monestaries, cermonies like Mahakala, dispelling negative influences are performed the day before Losar. The Rat is associated with water, and I found this very detailed explanation of the Chinese calendar and forcasts here.
The stupa at Rocky Mountain Shambala Center, Red Feather Lakes Colorado